Effect of texting and shortcut spelling on academic achievements of secondary school students

Effect of texting and shortcut spelling on academic achievements of secondary school students


Emergence of communication through modern modes of communication such as texting has greatly influenced the written communication among students. This impact of texting can also be traced from their academic writings. The present research investigates those Effect of texting and shortcut spelling on academic achievements of secondary school students.. It focuses on the factors that are affecting the academic performance, regarding the possible influence of textisms in language on student’s spellings. Being quantitative research in nature on its way to uncover the questions under investigation are based on two sources of data; structured close and open-ended questionnaires and written checked assignments taken as primary data from secondary school students in Anambra state. This research unveils the greater part of students’ textisms language that how formal writing is influenced by text language. The present study reveals that the use of text language by secondary school students is good only in their text communication text has short space of 160 characters, so they need to precise it to deliver the long message in short words. In contrast when students use these textisms terms in their academic writing that become a reason for spelling mistakes and it creates a major problem for students to memorizing correct spelling for formal writing.


Background to the Study

Modern technological revolutions of the present day are not less than a wonder. Today, people are living in modern world and the technology surrounds us everywhere. The modern technology is growing quickly, through technology people are easily in touch with long distance communication, as it is safe and reliable.

Text messaging (TM) can commonly be seen to have some kind of deviated and irregular shortening and abbreviating of words, phrases and even the sentences. It exhibits a short language of communication in texting in everyday life such as short message service (SMS), instant messages (IM) and so on. In this kind of communication, the language does not follow any kind of proper pattern, standard form, correct spellings and correct syntax structure these are followed by people while communicating. Therefore, the technology has influenced on people in everyday life who practice so much use of SMS, IM and TM. Moreover, the world is technologized with modern smart equipment, text message service is considered as one of the smartest, cheapest easiest ways of communication. The most important features of texting are saving money, time, and text space. The language of computer mediated communication (CMC) is assumed. In present time, SMS is main source of updating people of things happing around them. It has major role in business and other fields also. Youngster used SMS as source of chatting to share their ideas with peers, family, colleague etc. which helps in increasing their knowledge and make them aware and updated of world affairs. SMS language has made a great damage to the writing skills of the students. It is greatly affecting the structure of sentence, vocabulary and spellings of the students. The people are using SMS language in their formal e-mails, letters, speeches, and theirexaminations instead of the standard formal writing which are causing a great problem. Sometimes these shortened and abbreviated words are difficult to comprehend in formal situation. SMS language is affecting the students’ ability of memorizing correct and actual forms of spelling. It creates miss-understanding and confusion in communication to students’ by spoiling the spelling and as well as grammar. It lacks the ability of user to use words appropriately as well as accurately in the context which is the main cause of not expressing one’s self meaningfully through writing.

The language is used in SMS texting and it has different ways from the standard language for communication. SMS language includes the transformation of the lexeme. The writer transforms the lexical items of the language by shorting them with the method including contractions, clipping and abbreviations. It is observed that most of the short textisms term are used by people in SMS language is compared to any other means of communication like CMC or IM (Crystal, 2008).

For example:

  • SWYP stands for So what’s your problem
  • LOL stands for laugh of laughter
  • OMG stands for Oh My GOD
  • ‘How are you’ is shorted as in SMS language as ‘hw r u’ However, from user to user these shorting words are varied from place to place

For example:

  • ‘Wait’ can be shortened as ‘W8’ or ‘wa8’
  • ‘Thanks’ can be shortened as ‘thnks’ or ‘thnkz’ or ‘tnx’
  • ‘Hate’ can be shortened as ‘Ha8’ or ‘h8’
  • ‘Anyone’ can be shortened as ‘any1’ or ‘ne1’

The table 1 show the shorting words of textism terms that are mention below.

Table 1: Shows the shorting words of text language terms 

No: Correct Forms Textisms Terms
1 Because Bczs, B/c, Bcoz
2 Between Btwn, B/w
3 Won 1n
4 One 1
5 Please Plz, plees,
6 Your Ur
7 You U
8 Why Y
9 Ate 8, a8
10 Before B4, bfor,

There are some processes that are followed by the text users while texting (Crystal, 2008). These are discussed in table 2 that are mention below:

Table 2: Represent the texting processes

No’s Texting processes Description with examples
1 Shortening/reducing The Lexical item is reduced or shortened most of time by using the initial part of word. It is reduced in such a way to convey the message in appropriate way to the required person this kind of process is known as Shorting or reducing. For example bcoz

(because), Plz (please), bw (between).

2 Clipping Clipping is usually accomplished when a word of more than one

syllable is reduced to a shorter form. For example pics (pictures), bra (brassiere), chem (chemistry).

3 Numbering It is the process in which the whole word or a part of it is replaced

by a number. For example 8 (ate), 2 (to), 4 (for), 2mrrow (tomorrow), 2night (tonight).

4 Abbreviated forms It is usually formed by combining initial letters of a set of other words. It is sometime very difficult to comprehend by an ordinary human being unless he has to consult to some expert or to acknowledge some list of SMS standards. For example IMO

(in my opinion), ROTFL (rolling on the floor laughing), TQ (thank you).

5 Contraction In contraction process the vowels are usually deleted from words so these words are well described by the consonant rather than

vowel For example ctrl (control), dlt (delete), abt (about).

6 Spellings in accordance with pronunciation (Graph on) In this process the text sender changed the actual words spelling by how it was pronounce by them. For example cum (come), skul (school), fone (phone).
7 Using single letter


In this method the whole word is replaced by single letter. For

example c (see), u (you), r (are), be (be).

8 Using smiley/ emotion icons A smiley or emoticon is used to express the feelings by sending smiley icons so the receiver can make a good guess about their mood. For example >:-( (very angry), 😉 (twinkling), :’(crying),

🙁 (sad), :-/ (confused), <3 (love), :* (kiss), O:-) (angle).

9 Letter repetition to achieve speech like quality or lay stress This method is used to lay stress on certain words by repeating certain letters of the words. This is used to emphasize on a certain message or to lay importance of one’s ideas and feelings. By repetition of letters these things can be easily conveyed as in oral communication through intonations and stress patterns. For example noooooooooooo (no!), hahahahahahaha (laughing!),

haaaaaaaahhh (sigh).

10 Using consonants This type of text writing uses only consonants while the vowels are completely omitted from the writing. For example msg

(message), cmng (coming), tmrw (tomorrow), bcz (because).






Text Messaging System or Short Message System (SMS) allows users to send and receive short messages from handheld, digital mobile phones or from a computer to a mobile phone, giving almost instant access to others and to connect to the  same  service. Young people in particular, have taken to the SMS technology and are  adapting and inventing language to accommodate the 160-character limit of short messages which has implications for communications and language use. This  is because they are more interested in getting their messages across and becoming less concerned about correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Carlson (2004) asserted that language shortcuts and colloquial language are ‘reinforcing bad habits in writing’ (p.1) Students seem to have  become  more  dependent on the language shortcuts (SMS) which may have adverse consequences on the students’ formal writing skills.

The problem is that texting is replacing talking among teens Lindley, (2008), yet their primary form of communication in the classroom is oral communication andformal writing. In addition, texting is being blamed for hampering students’ formalwriting skills. Plester, Wood, and Bell (2008) claimed texting which is moreconversationally based is appearing in standard written English and that “this concern,often cited in the media, is based on anecdotes and reported incidents of text languageused in schoolwork”. Rosen, Chang, Erwin, Carrier, and Cheever (2010) addedthat


“educators and the media have decried the use of these shortcuts, suggesting thatthey are causing youth to lose the ability to write acceptable English prose”.

Vosloo (2009) agreed that “for a number of years teachers and parents haveblamed texting for two ills: the corruption of language and the degradation in  spelling ofyouths’ writing” .

At this time, only a small number of studies have been focused on the impact thathigh level of text messaging may have on teenagers, and even fewer studies have beenfocused on their ramifications on formal writing in an educational setting. Simply put,further research is needed to reveal the impact that high levels of text messaging mayhave on teenagers and young adults when it comes to formal writing in the high schooland college classroom. This study thus seeks to examine the impact of the language of short messaging service on the written essays of secondary school  students. It will look at the content, organization, mechanical accuracy and the expression component of the students’ essay writing.

Research Question

The research questions seek answers and explanations which are following;

  • What is the impact of texting on students’ spelling system in their academic writing?
  • What are the intrinsic factors those are playing a role in affecting the formal writing system of students?

Research Objectives

  • To describe the effects of texting on formal academic
  • To explore various factors that are involved in influencing the students’
  • To find various remedies to overcome this problem.

Significance of the Research

This research has academic as well as some practical implications. In this research, it is beneficial for academics, especially for teachers so that it can be used to overcome the drawbacks that are seen in students’ formal writing. It will be useful to spread an awareness to overcome this problem and remedies can be done to solve it.

Delimitations of the Study

In this study of research, the researcher is delimited the study on effects of texting on students’ spelling in academic writing



The significance of the study deals with the need for the study and its possible application and utilization.

This study is significant to the subject in the following ways:

It addresses the question that so many teachers, parents, and students have aboutthe potential relationship(s) between SMS technology  and  students’ formalwriting skills in the classroom..

The study may lead educators and students to a greater understanding of how text Messaging                      may     relate    to    a    teenager’s    writing     development     and    ability toeffectivelypresent him or herself through writing.

The study may also provide administrative insight as to how text  messaging  should be managed by the school; e.g. should it be encouraged or banned from theclassroom?

To curriculum planners, the study is expected to give an understanding of how SMS language affects students’ writing;hence, they will see if there is need to adjust the curriculum to factor in the technological changes that may improve their deficient writing skills.

This work gives writers an insight into SMS language and its impact on written English. Embarking on this, they are motivated to produce more works on the impact  of SMS language on students’ writing.The study also serves as a resource material for others who want to carry out research in related field.

Download Full Material-N5000

Leave a Reply